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Queen calls for united, resilient front in the face of climate change

By JT - Feb 10,2022 - Last updated at Feb 10,2022

Her Majesty Queen Rania addresses the first-ever Earthshot Innovation Showcase at Expo 2020 Dubai in a prerecorded video that was broadcast on Thursday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — Her Majesty Queen Rania called on the global community to recognise the pressing need for a united and resilient front in the face of environmental crises, pinning hopes on bold initiatives, human ingenuity, and concerted action to repair our planet. 

Queen Rania made these remarks in a pre-recorded video message that was broadcast at the first-ever Earthshot Innovation Showcase at Expo 2020 Dubai on Thursday, according to a statement from Her Majesty’s office. 

The event, attended by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, was hosted at the UAE multinational DP World Pavilion in the presence of its Group Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem. 

Queen Rania is a member of the Earthshot Prize Council, which awards the global environmental prize to five winners each year. Addressing a group of top environmental innovators and influential business leaders from across the world, the Queen warned that “our shared environment” is buckling under the weight of the climate crisis, especially as the threat of rising temperatures and shrinking water supplies in the Middle East and beyond cannot be overstated.

“When it comes to the environment, every region is under threat,” Her Majesty said, adding that “human ingenuity is the ultimate renewable resource. And the fuel we need to save our planet rests in our own heads, hearts, and hands”.

The event showcased five innovative solutions from the 2021 Earthshot Prize finalists, who pitched their projects and initiatives to the audience in an exploration of scale-up opportunities. The finalists represented three of the five Earthshot Prize categories: Revive our Oceans, Fix our Climate, and Build a Waste-free World.

In her remarks, the Queen contended that not all hope is lost, because “the future is these finalists — and so many like them around the world.”

Sharing Her Majesty’s sentiment, Prince William, a longtime stalwart of environmental justice and the founder of The Earthshot Prize, stated in his opening remarks that “We have reason to hope, our future is not yet set, and while the task ahead is great, we still have the ability to repair our planet, and create a better world. The Earthshot mission is more than just a prize. It’s a global team effort to spark urgent optimism and game-changing innovation to transform our future."

Queen Rania also addressed the many possibilities that come with a culture that rewards green innovation and climate action, as it had with these finalists, whose groundbreaking solutions range from “farming coral on land” and “providing grid-free electricity” to “bringing concrete seawalls to life” and “harnessing and selling the sun”.

“But, exciting as these bold initiatives are, we’re all in a race against time,” Her Majesty said, pointing to other challenges that have yet to be overcome. She noted that a survey representing half the world’s population found that two-thirds of people recognise the urgency and enormity of climate change.

In a call for unity, the Queen also underscored the importance of helping global actors realise that “problems that seem overwhelming are actually manageable,” and that the planet can ultimately heal.

“Every sector has a role to play — public, private, philanthropic,” Her Majesty said. “And the bottom line could not be clearer: If we work together, everybody wins.”

Founded in 2020 by Prince William and The Royal Foundation, The Earthshot Prize is a global environmental prize and platform to discover, accelerate, and scale groundbreaking eco-innovations to repair and regenerate the planet. The annual Prize aims to catalyse an Earthshot challenge to urgently encourage and scale environmental innovations that can help put the world firmly on a trajectory towards a stable climate, where communities, oceans, and biodiversity thrive in harmony by 2030.

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